Design, Home Projects

Making Plans for the Office

It’s March, and frankly, we haven’t accomplished much in the way of tangible house projects thus far this year, but I have been itching to write on the blog again, so here I am. Though there have been plenty of distractions (getting sick, buying a Nintendo Switch) and unpleasant weather to help keep us from engaging in physically doing projects, we are also still in the planning stages of our bigger ones. Much of our silence has been due to difficulty settling on satisfactory solutions.

Of all the projects on our to do list, the one I am most eager to accomplish — and is most on my mind lately — is our shared office. So I thought I’d share some of our current thinking on that front. If you have any thoughts or ideas about what we’re thinking, let us know! We’re very much in the mulling things over stage.

Here’s our shared office space in its current state (for what things were like prior to my moving in, check out last year’s post about rethinking office space.)

While this is sort of functional, and we’ve been making it work, it’s not ideal. Some of the key things we want to address include:

  • Ergonomics. I work in here twice a week and we both participate in digital hobbies regularly in our free time (games, art, music) so appropriate desk and monitor height, comfortable seating, and adequate foot space under our desks is extremely important.
  • Practical storage. While the drawers on my desk are used a lot, the placement makes them a pain to get to, especially when my work laptop, a stack of papers, or a cat is sitting there blocking them. I also do not have any good space to store things like art paper.
  • Easy access to equipment for our hobbies. See previous, but also DJ’s keyboard, Ableton Push, etc. for his music hobby is not in an ideal set-up for easy use at the moment and his speakers take up a lot of desk surface area.
  • Aesthetics. This is the least touched room when it comes to decor. It’s currently a bit of a hodgepodge of furniture, so we’d like a solution that feels more intentional and visually cohesive. We also want to consider better wire management.
  • Cat Space. Our cats — Mochi in particular — spend A LOT of time in here. If not the cat tree, then another friendly cat napping/lounging solution needs to be included in our plans.

We’ve thrown around a variety of ideas, but the solution we keep coming back to is building a custom sized u-shaped desk to maximize both desk and open floor space. We’ve iterated on this idea several times (and continue to do so), discussed pros and cons, and brainstormed many options. I still am not sure we’ve landed on a final plan, but the core gist of what we want remains pretty similar despite continued tweaking of the details.

Here’s the basic layout we as we currently envision it.

We don’t want anything complex for the desk, just basic, usable work surface. I’ve learned from my desk with drawers that the drawers get in the way of leg and mousing/typing comfort. Keeping it simple and using modular storage will give us the most flexibility in arrangement of our tools if we need or want to change things up.

I’m also envisioning sconces on either side of the window, our computers on rolling platforms under the desk for easy access, a roman shade or other window treatment with color to soften the room and break up the white of the window wall, and the primary palette in our two favorite colors — green and blue.

I put together this moodboard of sorts to help get a better idea of the direction I’m thinking visually.

That tall vintage drawer unit is AMAZING but not actually available for purchase anymore. We both think it would be cool to find a vintage storage unit that has various sized drawers like this at a flea market or antique shop if possible. I suspect it’ll be a long term hunt for that particular component, but it could really make the room if we can find something. I’m an advocate for having something old in every room to give it a little more soul/character.

Everything else in that image is also hypothetical at this point except for the the cat shelf, art, and white bookcase. The shelf is currently on order, and the other pieces are already in the room. We also want to find some art for DJ’s side of the space, but we haven’t found the right piece yet.

The most challenging part of the design (besides finding the perfect vintage storage piece) will be the actual execution of the desk surface — the best material to use, how big we can get it, how to how to cut a perfect curve in the corners where we sit, etc.

I’m excited to see where we end up!

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